When many in the residential real estate industry lobbied last fall for an extension of the $8,000 first-time homebuyers federal tax credit until April 30, there was a good reason beyond just wanting to see the buying incentive continue.
May historically is among the industry’s top-selling months, and agents and others knew they would need any advantage they could get to deal with the decline in buyer interest after the credit expired.
“The reason we wanted the tax credit to expire at the end of April was that May was traditionally our strongest month,” said Dennis Melby of Long & Foster’s Bethesda Gateway office. “And the spring market is traditionally our strongest market. So it made sense that if the stimulus had to end, it end at a very strong time for real estate.”
Sure enough, the number of contracts for pending sales of previously owned homes dropped off in Maryland in May by 48 percent from April, a steeper decline than the national one of 33 percent, according to data from real estate information company Metropolitan Regional Information Systems. … MORE